High ground, high prices: How climate change is speeding gentrification
A recent article in CNN highlights how climate change is accelerating gentrification as wealthier people seek to move to neighborhoods of lower climate risk, such as those situated on higher elevation and less prone to floods. The article highlights gentrification in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, where the share of Black population in Census tracts with the highest median elevations — those a meter or more above sea level — fell by more than a third between 2000 and 2019. One higher-elevation neighborhood went from 75% Black in 2000 to 71% White by 2019.
"While there’s been plenty of attention to how climate change will affect areas most vulnerable to sea level rise and flooding, a growing body of research argues it will also have dramatic second-hand effects on nearby areas that are more sheltered," according to the article. "As people start leaving the riskiest areas — prodded either by cataclysmic events like Katrina or the nuisance of dealing with more regular flooding — higher-ground neighborhoods become more desirable."